Switching lead sides in a fight

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Midnight-shadow, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I recently switched to a new fighting gym which specialises in K1 Kickboxing, whereas before I was doing Sanda and White Crane Kung Fu. Overall I'm liking the change but one of the key differences I've noticed so far is that when I did Sanda I was trained to use both sides equally, and to change my lead leg often during a fight. There was also a big emphasis on both linear and circular footwork. By contrast, at my new gym the instructor has told me not to switch leading legs and therefore all the drills I do are done on the same side.

    I'm curious on people's opinion regarding this. Is it better to be able to switch leading legs and stances during a fight, or just focus on a single side over the other?
     
  2. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Depends on the style...

    In the kickboxing I do, all the training and drills concentrate on being performed from an orthodox boxing stance.

    I tend to switch though, which is fine as long as the padholder during drills can keep up ;)

    For sparring, I usually switch a lot - but that's probably a lot to do with TKD...
     
  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    From the boxing and wrestling point of view, it's better to stay on one side all the time.

    In boxing, you put strong side back. A jab hand can keep your opponent away. A cross hand can knock your opponent down. A boxing coach will tell you that when you see your opponent switches sides, he is tired. You should attack with full force.

    In wrestling, you put strong side forward. You have rooting leg and attacking leg, body control hand and arm control hand. You may see a right handed wrestler or a left handed wrestler. But your may not see a both handed wrestler.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  4. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    That's fine against another boxer...

    I continually switch sides to open opportunities for me, or close them to my opponent.

    If someone went for full force every time I switched sides they'd be the tired ones in fairly short order.
     
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  5. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    I see, so if I understand it right, you don't need your forward hand to be as strong since you are mostly doing jabs to feel out your opponent, then following up with the more powerful backward hand in order to deliver to solid hit when as opening appears. See now I have a problem because although I am right handed, my left hand is stronger than my right hand. With this in mind, do you think I would be better becoming a predominantly southpaw fighter instead of orthodox?
     
  6. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That also depends on what you want. Some fighters like having their lead hand stronger so that theyre jab has more oomph. Depends on your style.
     
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  7. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Since your leading hand is closer to your opponent's head, a strong leading hand can be used to interrupt your opponent's punch away from your head but close to his head. You will have stronger defense this way.

    I like to put my strong side forward. This way I can have stronger defense. If my strong side jab is still not powerful enough to knock my opponent down, I will use hook (or hay-maker) or uppercut instead. IMO, a leading arm hook or uppercut is more powerful that a back arm hook or uppercut (because more body rotation).

    I like to train different techniques on different sides. In other words, my right arm has a certain function that I need to do (such as head lock). My left arm will do a complete different set of function (such as arm wrap).
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
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  8. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow 3rd Black Belt

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    That's given me a lot to think about, thanks.
     
  9. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    Either is fine. I switch it up but nothing wrong with keeping one stance
     
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  10. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I don't get it.

    Are you saying the body rotation takes power away from a rear hand hook or uppercut?
     
  11. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    You can perform more body rotation on your leading arm than on your back arm. Since your leading arm has more reach than your back arm, the same body rotation will give you more power on your leading long arm than on your back short arm.

    When you put strong side back, if your opponent keeps movingward your leading arm side door, your leading arm will jam your own back arm, you may never have chance to throw your power back hand punch. This is the main issue for the "strong side back" strategy.

    If you watch Mahamat Ali's last couple fights, his opponent kept moving toward his right blind side. Ali had thrown a lot of right jab. But he didn't have chance to throw many of his left cross.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  12. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    To rotate with the punch doing a hook with the front hand you have to turn the other way first (unless you're full facing, which I don't think is that common, and would make it equal anyway). That's fine if the hook isn't the first punch (follow up from a cross maybe) but winding up to a punch just gives the game away totally.

    If having your dominant hand in the rear position is such a handicap, why is it the default position for a boxer?

    I don't really know what "leading arm side door" means, but I'll assume it means your opponent is moving to the outside of your lead arm.

    That's really not an issue tbh, your guard is close enough usually that you can easily reach around, or you pivot, or you switch stance.
     
  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I assume most of the boxers try to knock their opponent down in 2 punches - jab, cross.
    Front door - space between your arms.
    Right side door - space on the right side of your right arm.
    Left side door - space on the left side of your left arm.
    If your opponent moves toward your leading arm side door, when you have strong side

    - back, you will have to turn with him. This will make your opponent to control the fight.
    - forward, you can use your leading arm to interrupt your opponent's circular footwork. You can then take the control back.

    There are many advantages to have your strong side forward.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  14. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I don't think there are many boxers at all who think only two punches to a knock down - a pretty normal combination contains at least 4 and that's just a part of the strategy.

    If a boxer could think of just two (or even just one) then they'd be in a serious mismatch.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    I can sort of see what you're getting at, but in the two disciplines I train and spar (kickboxing and TKD) it'd be extremely rare to present in such fashion.

    For example, in kickboxing it'd be more of a disadvantage to keep your strong side forward and you'd likely end up never using the weaker side.

    In TKD, with my weaker (left) side forward, if they come around my lead side door (if I've got that right) I'd do something along the lines of flick left backhand to head to distract, follow with left twisting kick to mid section and then right turning kick (roundhouse) to upper or mid section. If it plays out to support that.

    In kickboxing, because I'm not so good, I'd likely pivot and back out to kicking range...

    In either case, I'd not restrict myself to always leading with one side or the other...
     
  15. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    i can see this from both angles. i used to like to fight southpaw back in the day because i was better at kicking from this position. then later i liked my stronger hand being forward. i was was very ambidextrous. i remember having an issue with an MMA coach when he saw me round kicking from my lead leg, telling me "you cant do that" he wanted me to do the hope, skip and jump to switch my legs just so i can kick with my left.
    the more options you have the better.

    the other side is that as a coach, i would like to see people get the basics down and ingrain them from the normal dominant side before playing around with switching.
     
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  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    For MMA it gives you a bit more versatility. So I can switch legs, create a shorter distance for a takedown. As an example.

    I don't do it much unless I wind up there. Because I am sometimes a bit of a Luddite.

    But if say someone angles to my right. If I switch stance it is quicker.
     
  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    The way that I look at this is if I always keep the same side, I can accumulate twice as much experience compare to if I switch sides. It's like if I always shoot my hand gun with my right hand, I will develop twice as much experience if I try to shot from both hands.
     
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  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    I can see where you might gain a very slight speed increase be never changing stance but wouldn't that make you more predictable? We teach to change stance, both based on the opponents lead leg and stance and sometimes to bait your opponent. The latter is definitely a more advanced tactic.
     
  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    As you sound left hand biased, are you as fast with the left hand being that you are right handed?
     
  20. marques

    marques Master Black Belt

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    I would want to keep that skill, but I would not disobey... You can, at least, train one side each training. One day you are orthodox, one day you are southpaw. In sparring, usually you're free to switch.

    I like to switch, but I don't do the same each side. Switching creates incertainity on the opponent and by the time he figures out what is coming from each stance/side, the fight/sparring is finished. If you cannot switch (often) in training, you may be able to choose each side is more convenient for you before the drill.123
     
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